Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Modified and aftermarket systems, lights, wiring, etc.

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Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Postby F9K9 » Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:15 pm

This past Sunday morning I was at our local "Super Wallyworld" doing our weekly shopping. I have been proving a point to my sweet wife that the weekly shopping can be done in less than the 4 hours that it takes her. It takes me an hour total (including travel time and stopping at AutoZone) to accomplish her terribly chore. I strike early Sunday before the regular SE KY residents remember Wallyworld. :lol:

Anyway, I have SilverStar low beams and was looking at buying the "highs". AutoZone had a good deal on them but, was out. Went to Walmart and they had them but, I was hesitant to buy them. I went back there at lunch today and the silverstars had vanished. A sweet "robust" (meaning she could weigh in between 250-300 lbs) asked if she could help. I told her that I had been there 48 hrs ago and looked at the silverstars and now all I see is "GE Night Hawks". She checked, they had "pulled the SilverStars" to get room for GE. She retrieved a set for me, I purchased them along with the four cases of soft drinks for our pop supply at work.

Being the very organized law enforcement professional (almost 30 years under my belt) I loaded the crew up with the pop, and returned the cart to it's delegated corral(along with the silverstars and the receipt) :x

My original reason for posting this is, does anyone have knowledge of the new GE Night Hawks? Unless you wanna learn all about GE Night Hawk F117s be careful with your search engine. :lol:

GE claims them to be the absolute brightest and they are $10 cheaper than the SilverStars a pr.

EDIT-----Ended up buying the GE NIGHTHAWKS for the wife's (the Boss) Cavalier. Will let her be our guinea pic. Will bring you up to date on them later. They go for $26 a pair versus SilverStars $39.
Last edited by F9K9 on Sun Nov 14, 2004 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kf6kmx » Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:11 am

I havent seen the Nighthawks make it out here yet.. We have an apparent overstock of Silverstar's around here (at least last weekend you couldnt get near a parts department without seeing full rack displays of them)..
I'll see if a friend who is an inventory manager at a part house that deals alot in GE lighting has any info on them (other than company propaganda that always says they are better)..
I'm running some sort of generic 'hyper white' that I got from a friend.. they were running them in an '03 Avalanche, but changed the Avalanche to true HID kit.. I've been looking at Silverstar as a replacement for the ones I'm running, but the price, and the 'year' lifespan has stopped me so far.. I dont have the DRL disabled on my truck, so the highs would probably wear down pretty quick.
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Postby shrubs2000 » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:20 pm

I just received my bulbs in the mail today from Sylvania's sale - both high and low. The weather here finally stopped raining so I was able ot wash the truck. I went to change the bulbs and it looked like too much work to get done dinner time.

Anyhow, I found http://www.s-10crewcab.com/phpBB2/viewt ... =headlight
so I hope I can get it in the AM without dismantling the front end! :(

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Postby HenryJ » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:47 pm

shrubs2000 wrote:... I went to change the bulbs and it looked like too much work to get done dinner time. ...
OK, just admit you were too hungry to switch them, there is no way it is too much work ;)
NTXCrew wrote:In the owner's manual it shows the two retaining brackets for each headlight unit. Pull up on the two clips (they stick up in front of the battery) on the passenger side and with a little wiggling, they should come out. Then just pull the headlight unit out horizontally towards the front of the truck. You now have access to the turn signal, the low beam bulb, and the high beam bulb. They all twist out of their sockets and then unclip out of their wiring harness. Then just reverse the process to put 'em back. ...

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Postby shrubs2000 » Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:33 am

Ok.. I was hungy. What can I say..... :lol:
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Postby Walt » Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:07 am

I bought a pair of low beam silverstars in March, and have been meaning to buy a high beam set, but now I'm glad I didn't. two weeks ago, the right low bulb went out, and yesterday the left one went out. I've heard that silverstars don't last, and from what I can see, that's about right. I won't be buying another set :x I may just have to go back to the el cheapo bulbs that last 10 years :lol:
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Postby F9K9 » Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:04 am

Being my usual stubborn self I went back to Advance and got the SilverStar high beams :lol:

They had a special, buy one, the second is half off, plus $5 mail-in rebate. I even mailed it in that evening. I usually never get around to mailing those in on anything but, decided to give it a try :?
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Postby shrubs2000 » Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:56 am

I just installed mine. WOW that was about the easiest headlight install I have ever done. Now I jsut need to wait until dark. :o

My Grand Prix's are a royal pain to get back into place.
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Postby jeff024 » Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:24 pm

ive had the silverstars in my cc almost since i got it in FEB 04 and they have been great highs and lows :poke:
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Postby F9K9 » Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:38 pm

I love them myself :D

They have to light up things 2-3 times farther than stock :!:

If they burned out in 2-3 months, i'd be content. Beats smacking a white tail deer with $500 deductable :)
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Postby Retep » Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:42 am

shrubs2000 wrote:...My Grand Prix's are a royal pain to get back into place.

I don't think the head lights on a Grand Prix are that bad, the fog lights on the other hand are a pain.

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Postby shrubs2000 » Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:37 am

I had a hard time getting the lights back in on my GP. I replaced the fox lights with Pilot Cyber whites this past summer. They are right underneath so I though it was easy. No tools required to get them out.

For some reason, I had to adjust the truck lights lower this AM. I'm not sure why but the Silver Stars seemed to go way up. I didn't want to blind too many people on the way to work.
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:11 pm

Anybody have any experience with the 9011 or 9012 HIR bulbs?

Snowman002 wrote:I'll still say that the 9011/12 conversion is WAY better then the silverstars. $18 a peaice at the GM dealer and they are what come stock on the new Avalanches so you know that they will last a while.

Silverstars are "Street Legal" arn't they? If so then the 9011/12's will kick their but as the minimum lumens for the 9011/12's DOT certification are above the maximum lumens for 9005/6's.

It will take a minor modification of the bulb base, but shouldn't take more than 1 min per bulb (and no risk of hurting the bulb).

Of course you chould try the 9011/12 HIR's and get the best, but I havn't been able to determine how much better they are then the standard 9011/12's.

Rockauto:
DELCO or GE Part # 9011
Category: Headlight {#15094219)

They list it as $23, but I know I have seen it cheaper.

Edit: here we go, GMpartsdirect

15094219
Bulbs, Fog, High/Low Beam
BULB
1
$17.22


A little search found this:
Welcome to Fine Motoring.com BRAND NEW FACTORY DIRECT TOSHIBA BULBS
These Toshiba bulbs are a unique product, the only bulbs available that use the research technology that General Electric patented in 2000 (patent number 6,087,775). It was GE's goal to create a bulb that produced 75% of the light output of HID headlights at 25% of the cost. GE sells HIR bulbs for residential lighting and specialized projectors, but decided to stay out of the automotive market and licensed this technology to a division of Toshiba. In fact, Toshiba and GE are among the few companies in the world with the expertise to engineer and build this product. These bulbs attain light levels 75% to 110% brighter than stock as a result of an engineering process that deposits multiple, yet almost invisible, layers of semi-reflective coating on the surface of a specially shaped quartz bulb. This coating ( a titania/silica, zinc oxide/silica, zirconia/silica, silicon nitride/silica, and titania/magnesium fluoride tantalam/silica multi-layer dielectric, according to the patent) reflects a portion of the infrared energy emitted by the filament back onto the filament, causing it to glow brighter and emit more light from the uncoated forward portion of the bulb. Although the filament gets hotter, the glass does not. IT GENERATES NO MORE HEAT THAN A REGULAR HALOGEN BULB, AND IT DRAWS THE SAME WATTAGE AND AMPERAGE AS THE STOCK 9006 BULB IT REPLACES
They are available on ebay for $30 each

hir_headlights wrote:Want to get great illumination without extra heat, wiring upgrades, relays, transformers, and blue tint? Want to SEE better at night instead of HEARING a bunch of dubious chatter about xenon-filled, over-wattage, blue-tinted bling-bling bulbs that are supposedly "just like HIDs"? Want a bulb where you can perform a simple swap into a 9005 or 9006 socket and maintain the correct filament placement for a perfect light pattern, instead of causing glare and scattered, diffused light? Want to save hundreds of dollars over the cost of retrofitting an illegal, bootleg HID system? Then you want these Halogen Infrared Reflecting bulbs.

These Toshiba bulbs are a unique product, the only bulbs available known to use the research technology that General Electric patented in 2000 (patent number 6,087,775). It was GE's goal to create a bulb that produced 75% of the light output of HID headlights at 25% of the cost. GE sells HIR bulbs for commercial lighting and specialized applications, but decided to stay out of the automotive market and licensed this technology to a division of Toshiba. These are Toshiba bulbs, brand new, never used, factory direct. In fact, Toshiba and GE are among the few companies in the world with the expertise to engineer and build this product. These bulbs attain light levels 75% to 110% brighter than stock as a result of an engineering process that deposits multiple, yet almost invisible, layers of semi-reflective coating on the surface of a specially shaped and focused quartz bulb. This coating (a titania/silica, zinc oxide/silica, zirconia/silica, silicon nitride/silica, and titania/magnesium fluoride tantalam/silica multi-layer dielectric, according to the patent) reflects a portion of the infrared energy emitted by the filament back onto the filament, causing it to glow brighter and emit more light from the uncoated forward portion of the bulb. Although the filament gets hotter, the glass does not. IT GENERATES NO MORE HEAT THAN A REGULAR HALOGEN BULB, AND IT DRAWS THE SAME WATTAGE AND AMPERAGE AS THE STOCK 9005 or 9006 BULB IT CAN REPLACE.

You can examine the original patent by going to: http://HIRheadlights.com/uspto%20hir%20bulbs.pdf

The original GE spec sheet info, for the prototype bulbs they discontinued, is at
http://hirheadlights.com/hir%20techsheet.htm

My own informal testing showed the GE figures to be conservative. I hooked up a 9006 bulb to a fully charged battery on my bench. On my ancient light meter (a GE model from the 1950s, it's marked in foot-candles, but useful for showing relative light levels), I registered a light level of 20 at a distance of 18" from the bulb. The HIR 9012 bulb recorded a light intensity of 35! That's 75% brighter than stock at the same power draw of 55 watts. The comparison between a 9005 high beam and an HIR 9011 high beam was even more impressive, 30 versus 65 on the meter, for a 116% improvement over stock, and again with the same wattage as stock, 65. Recent tests with several aftermarket bulbs had similar results. Two 9005 blue bulbs, one from a major manufacturer and one a no-name 100 watt unit, both registered 32 on the light meter, less than half the light of the 9011. In fact, the HIR 9012 low beam bulbs were brighter than the aftermarket 9005 high beams! Those bulbs, by the way, came out of a neighbor's Lincoln Mark VIII. Even though his car is unique in that it comes stock with four 9005 hi-beams, he realized when he watched me do the bulb test that he had wasted his money on the other bulbs. The good news is that he now has the light he needs to allow safer driving.

These bulbs produce white light, rated at 3600 Kelvin color temperature, slightly whiter than the 3250K stock halogen bulbs. They do not attempt to imitate the bluish appearance of HID (High Intensity Discharge, or Xenon) bulbs. The blue halo of original-equipment HIDs comes from the high voltage arc of energy between electrodes, which emits a minor amount of long-wave UV light. Putting a blue coating on a regular bulb actually reduces light output.

They're completely DOT and EC-13 compliant and marked as such, cast into the base along with the wattage, 55W or 65W. Since they match OEM stock wattage, there is never a problem in cars that have computer monitors for the lighting circuits. You won't get false "headlight failure" messages, which can happen with other over-wattage bulbs or with HIDs. Again, these bulbs attain their phenomenal luminance through breakthroughs in research, not from using more energy. If you have any question about legality of use in your state, I encourage you to call your Motor Vehicle Department and make sure of the law where you live. You can always keep your old bulbs on hand if you need to change back for any reason, but it's best to know the law ahead of time. To the best of my knowledge, they're street legal everywhere. These bulbs have been sold to car owners in many states over the last year, and no problems have been reported (and there's been 100% positive feedback).

If your headlights are maintained and aligned properly, there should be no glare issues with these lights. You get a lot more light, but it's still aimed where it should be. The position of the filament in the housing is identical to stock, so the reflectors or projectors work exactly as they were designed- JUST MUCH BETTER AND BRIGHTER.

Personally, I had never thought of great lighting as a performance upgrade like a turbo or better shocks, until I started using these headlights. The farther you can see, the faster you can safely go. All the horsepower in the world won't do you any good if you can't see a deer in the road 100 yards ahead. Now imagine you can see the deer 250 yards ahead. Likewise, there's no glory in slamming those new shocks and wheels you bought into a gaping pothole that you couldn't see until it was too late to avoid. You do get spoiled, though. If you use them in one car, you'll miss them in a car that doesn't have them. Soon, you take superior night vision for granted, and you really miss the lumens when the road goes dark. I recently drove cross country using these bulbs, and they just kept looking better and better. There's nothing like a moonless night in Montana to make you appreciate the comfort level you get from high-powered headlights.
... if your car takes 9005/ HB3 or 9006/HB4 bulbs, these will almost certainly fit with ease. Please check your vehicle to see which bulbs are in it now, or send me an email and I'll look it up. You can also find an application guide online at:

http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProduct ... mentGuide/

The HIR 9012 can replace a stock 9006/ HB4 bulb.
The HIR 9011 can replace a stock 9005/ HB3 bulb.

... I don't know of any other automotive bulb types available with the HIR technology at this time. You should treat offers that claim otherwise with caution.

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Postby jeff024 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:59 am

someone try them :)
120 for 4 bulbs they better be bad A*S
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:07 am

There is trimming that needs to be done to make them work- Trimming bulbs
The tabs on the HIR bulbs can be regarded as universal, or blank, or androgynous. They have an excess of top tab, and it is centered on 12:00, so they could be trimmed to fit in either a high or a low housing...


I'm actually considering them. A 75 to 116% increase in light. What would a set of aftermarket lights cost? Then find a place to mount them , wire them, add another switch. If they are as good as they say, it might be worth it.

Maybe just try a set for the highbeams.

There are some awful big claims here. Maybe the stock GM bulbs are the way to go? They are $10 a pair cheaper.

If these are indeed comparable to 75% of a HID system at 25% the cost. That seems reasonable.

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:38 am

Snoman002 wrote:Here are some points to consider when trying to decide if SilverStars are worth the money.

9005's (high beam bulb) DOT light output spec is 1700 lumens, +/- 12% at 12.8v, maximum 70 watts.

9011's (high beam bulb) DOT light output spec is 2300 lumens, +/- 15% at 12.8v, maximum 70 watts

That means that a silverstar CANNOT exceed 1904 lumens and 70 watts at 12.8 volts and remain street legal, 9011's on the other hand have a minimum requirement of 1955 lumens. That means a 9011 will ALWAYS be brighter then a Silverstar. If you were to assume that any old 9011 were to have an output in the middle range of what is allowed then it will put out 400 more lumens than a silverstar. That means that the 9011's can have twice the increase over silverstars then silverstars have over a regular bulb. That is assuming a standard 9005 bulb puts out in the middle of it's range and silverstars put out at the absolute maximum, which isn't the case as the silverstars have a blue tint that robs light.

Of course you could always put your current high beam bulb in the low beam spot (very easy) and then get a set of 9011's for the highs. Since the 9005 is the same bulb as the 9006 except it has a higher wattage filament and no tip coating this is actually a good idea.

For the sealed beam guys the wagner High Outputs are the best dang sealed beam I have ever seen. Those bulbs will blow away my $50 H4 conversion headlights with seperately purchased 80/90 watt bulbs. Part number for first gen S-10's is H6054HO, the smaller second gen lights will be the standard number with HO on the end. I am unsure if these are the same things as the wagner "BrightLights".
Snoman002 wrote:HID "kits" can be HORRIBLE.

Please please research HID kits before just slapping one in there.

First off the components used are usually sub-par and you end up replacing ballasts and bulbs quite often.

Second, there is no such thing as a 9006 HID bulb. ALL HID kits use a rebased HID burner. Rebased means that they take the plastic base of and put a different one on there, not good engineering in my book.

Third the way the light is given off in a HID bulb is different then the way a halogen bulb gives off light, this very often results in horrible glare that is extremely hard on other drivers. The company that rebases the bulbs try to get the center of the light point in the HID bulb at the same location as a 9006 bulb but the fact still remains that the light in a HID bulb comes from an arc and the light from a halogen comes from a piece of metal. You cannot assume that the output light is exactly the same, and if it isn't the same then it is producing glare or light in unwanted areas.

The length of the arc in a HID bulb is most likely not the same as the length of the filament and that means that the HID bulb is giving off it's brightest light in areas that a halogen bulb never did, that means the reflector and lens was not designed to work with that light and it is most likely coming out in bad places.

Also, since DOT requires some uplight from a headlight to illuminate overhead signs that means the you have to lower the main portion of the light beam so you cut some of the uplight to a reasonable level so other drivers aren't blinded. That means that the majority of your very expensive light is now hitting the ground closer to your truck instead of traveling down the rod just above the asphalt, this is not where you want it.

And finally, having a large amount of light hitting the ground in front of the truck can actually make your distance vision worse. Even though you may think you have better lights because it is SO BRIGHT in front of the truck you have actually caused you pupils to contract and that limits the distance you can see. And since you already had to lower the beam to keep from blinding other drivers that means even though you think you have better light you very well may not be able to see that dear out there because the majority of the light isn't in that area and your pupils have contracted making it so you cant see the reflected light from a distance as well.

Also, you would know that the NHSTB has BANNED the sale of every HID kit out there. Legally you cannot sell HID kits even if it is "for off-road use" like so many manufactures like to claim.

Please do some research for you self over at www.hidplanet.com. They can show the horror stories from HID kits and then they can show you how to do it properly, and probably even a way to give you high beam HID's for less than the cost you are looking at now.
Snowman002 wrote:"GE introduced the 9011 and 9012 (HIR1 and HIR2) bulbs in the late 1990s, and discontinued them approximately 18 months ago, though they still appear in the '03 GE catalog. Several automakers got rather badly burned on that product -- GE had a good idea, and they had the experience with infrared-reflective technology from some of their architectural and utility lighting, but the form factor they chose for their 9011 and 9012 was mechanically very fragile. It was a long, spindly glass tube with an external support wire, looking very much like an automotive HID bulb. With normal road vibrations, the bulb broke at the glass-to-base junction an uncomfortably large percentage
of the time, and all parties involved got rather angry with one
another. Hence the discontinuation.

(Phillips saw this writing on the wall as soon as they saw GE's HIR
bulbs, about which more below -- I cannot figure out why GE's
normally-sharp engineers fumbled this one!)

There have been a few copycat Chinese/Korean products on the market -- as usual, not worth messing with.

The only current OE-certified manufacturer of 9011 and 9012 is Toshiba of Japan, and those are the bulbs we have. They do not have GE's fragile construction nor Phillips "kinda sorta not really" compromise. They have the spherical bulb glass with the infrared-reflective coating, but are otherwise practically identical to 9005 and 9006 in all critical dimensions (with the obvious exception of the one plastic base tab which must be filed down in order to use these bulbs where 9005 and 9006 were originally specified). The overall length of the Toshiba HIR1 and HiR2 bulbs is identical to 9005 and 9006, so there are none of the "Tough luck, too long, won't fit" problems often encountered with the discontinued GE product.

Now, what about that "kinda sorta not really" Phillips HIR1?

HIR means "Halogen Infrared", which refers to the heat-reflective
construction and technology discussed at
http://www.bmwz.org/articles/lighting/0506trick/ . General Electric (GE) originally designed these bulbs as discussed above. All automotive headlamp bulbs are given an official designator by the US DOT when they are first approved for use in headlamps, but at the time these bulbs were developed the DOT was still assigning *two* different designators to each new bulb. (Examples: 9004/HB1, 9005/HB3, 9006/HB4, 9007/HB5,
etc.). The two designators for the low beam are 9012/HIR2, and for the high beam 9011/HIR1. However, the technical specs for any bulb type contain performance requirements for minimum/maximum allowable light output, electrical power consumption and mechanical dimensions only. The specs do not say how these minimum and maximum specs must be met.

In response to Chrysler's use of the fragile GE 9011 (HIR1) in the high beam of the Viper, Phillips added a replacement product to their line. They first displayed it in their booth at the 2000 Automotive Aftermarket Parts Exchange show in Las Vegas, at which time their product manager told me "We didn't want to pay GE a royalty or tool up for different bulb glass, but we wanted to serve the replacement market, so we just basically put together this bulb with a maximum-legal-wattage 9005 filament, overdriven to get the minimum allowable lumens for type 9011. Life isn't optimal, but our bulb costs less to make and we probably won't make it for very long." Remember,
this kind of bulb is called a 9011/HIR1 because that's its type
designator, not necessarily because it uses any particular technology (such as HIR) to produce its light. Phillips took the quick 'n' eas way out on this one. The bulb isn't *bad*, but it's not an HIR bulb.

Here are the figures to ponder:
9005's light output spec is 1700 lumens, +/- 12% at 12.8v, maximum 70
watts.
9011's light output spec is 2300 lumens, +/- 15% at 12.8v, maximum 70
watts.

So, the allowable range for 9005 is 1496 to 1904 lumens, while the allowable range for 9011 is 1955 to 2645. (Remember that the nominal wattage is just that -- actual wattage is specified in the regulation. All legal 9005s and 9011s are "65 watt" nominal and are actually
allowed to draw up to 70w). It's easy to see how by just selecting the highest-wattage 9005 filaments and overdriving them a little, Phillips is able to put together their 9011 bulb. It'll produce the low end of allowable lighting, consume at the high end of allowable wattage and life will be very short, but it'll be a legal 9011. There are no gold stars on any Federal refrigerator for bulbs that are better than they have to be; there are just two kinds: legal and illegal. And even then, illegal bulbs are all over the place, even from reputable manufacturers. The DOT practically never checks.
Last edited by HenryJ on Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:51 pm

Snoman002 wrote:Of course you oculd always put your current high beam bulb in the low beam spot (very easy) and then get a set of 9011's for the highs. Since the 9005 is the same bulb as the 9006 except it has a higher wattage filament and no tip coating this is actually a good idea.
What exactly does the tip coating do?
The reflector and lense serve to direct the light. The high beam and low beam reflectors differ in the light patterns that they produce.
I wonder what the difference in pattern would be?

Information on modifying the bases

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:49 pm

Snoman002 wrote:Hope this is the proper spot, seemed like the best place.

Well, I'm a Tech Editor (create How-To articles) over at a GM S-Series website and a member of a couple of other GM forums and I have tried to put together an article to try and help those on a quest for better lighting. I would really appreciate it if you guys would look over the article and let me know what you think, and/or tell me of any problems. I ask because I trust your input, and would like a review from people who are more knowledagable then I am on lighting.

BTW, this mostly refers to the older GM systems (9005/6 systems).

MODs, hope everything in here is OK, if not I'm sorry.

Anyways, here it is.

Well since this was working its way down the page I'll move it here and make it a How-To, just need to do some more work on it first.

Lighting 101

Well this is some of the things that I have picked up upon lighting and how to improve it.

Stock Lighting

Well for most of you stock lighting is OK for normal driving. Many of us want more and this is expected as we all would like to be safer. The question that we need to ask ourselves is the added cost worth the added light? If the answer is yes, and if you are reading this than I expect so, then read on.

Some upgrades
(This info is mostly for 9005/9006 headlight systems)

Well first off go and see if your headlight lense is chipped, scratched, pitted or dirty. If so see if you can clean it up. Having the lense in poor shape can severly limit the usable light. If it all checkes out OK continue on with this article and see how to upgrade your lighting.

Option One: "Wiring Harness". One of the best ways to get more light is to make a new wiring harness that uses relays to power the headlights (some cars have a wiring harness from the factory). This might be an issue with daytime running lamps, but there are ways around that too. The problem with the factory harness is that it uses rather small gauge wire and a lot of it, this long length of small gauge wire increases resistance and an increase in resistance in the wire means that "less" voltage gets to the bulb itself. The headlight switch also has a very high resistance that reduces the voltage availabe to the bulb and a harness will bypass that too. By making a harness with relays you can use larger gauge wire directly from the battery to lower the voltage "lost" in the wiring, the relays also have a low internal resistance. The relays are triggered by the factory headlight harness so there are no major changes to the factory wiring. When doing this it is also advised to run a dedicated ground from the bulbs to the battery, this also decreases the voltage that is "lost". I have head that this may lead to a 10% increase in lighting, maybe even more.

Some excelent info on why to use a wiring harness and how to make one: Wiring Harness

Here is a rough diagram of how to run a wiring harness.
Image

The biggest thing here is if your vehicle uses high beam DRL's, if so this may give them full power rather than the low power they normally run at, in that case you will be blinding drivers all the time. If yours runs low beam DRL's then it isn't such an issue.


Option Two: "Quad Mod". For those of you with four headlights an easy way to get more lighting for the high beams is to do the "Quad Mod", this takes and turns on the low beam lamps when the high beams are turned on. The simplest way to do this would be to add a diode between the high beam wire and the low beam wire. The diode prevents the high beams from turning on when the lows are on. The only problem with this is it may increase the load on the factory wiring enough to blow the fuse, if this happens DO NOT put a larger fuse in place of he old one as this can cause a fire. If this happens your best bet is to use a new harness, in fact using the harness will give you that much more light in addition to the "Quad Mod".

A very rough wiring diagram for the "Quad Mod" when used with a wiring harness (Diode in blue circle). Wiring will be almost exactly the same if not using a wiring harness.
Image

Here is some very good info about the "Quad Mod" and DRL's and AHL's, this info is for Chevy ZR2 pickups but should give you a good starting point for mods. Quad Mod, DRL, AHL info

Option Three: "High into Low". Putting a high beam bulb in the low beam housing (for 9005/6 and 9011/12 systems). The high beam bulb draws more power and puts out more lumens than the low beam bulb. The only issues to watch out for with this are that it might increase glare from the housing and this will affect other drivers. Some mention the fact that the high beam bulb doesn't have a coating on the tip, while this will increase glare some, very little light actually comes out of the tip of the bulb. If you are worried about it I believe that some have had good luck by dipping the tip of the bulb in some high temp paint (VHT paint, say 1300 degrees, the higher the better). This will take some minor modifications, but nothing hard. Of course this mod with the "Quad Mod" and the "Wiring Harness" will give you even that much more light.

Here is a good link on how to modify the 9005 bulb to fit the 9006 spot: High into Low Mod

Bulb Upgrades

Well there are a whole lot of bulbs out there that claim to give you more light, in some cases this may be true, but many of these are just gimmicks. I am not going to get into over watt bulbs as like I said many are gimmicks and personally I think there are better ways to get more light than to throw a set of 100 watt bulbs in you headlights. One thing that you should think about before using an overwatt bulb is that it may excede the current capicity of the stock wiring (good reason for a wiring harness :) ), that and the added heat that is released can melt some housings. Also, ANY bulb that has a colored coating will decrease light output, these bulbs may be higher wattage and that will get back the lost light some but I don't recommend them unless you are using the color tint to tune for a certain driving condition (I.E. yellow for fogs).

"9011/9012": First some figures to ponder about the 9011 and 9012 bulbs. 9005's (high beam bulb) DOT light output spec is 1700 lumens, +/- 12% at 12.8v, maximum 70 watts. 9011's (high beam bulb) DOT light output spec is 2300 lumens, +/- 15% at 12.8v, maximum 70 watts. What this means is that the DOT guidelines for bulbs states that a 9005 bulb has to put out between 1496 and 1904 lumens, the 9011 has to put out between 1955 and 2645 lumens. This says that any 9011 bulb is going to be brighter than any 9005 bulb. The issues here is that it may not be much brighter, if a 9005 puts out the maximum lumens and a 9011 puts out the minimum lumens there will be very little difference in light and both bulbs will meet the DOT requirements, but if you figure that a quality bulb is going to have an output in the middle of the allowable range doing this switch will yield you a 500 lumens increase. It will require a little bit of modifications to the bulb to make it fit in a housing designed for 9005/6 bulbs but it is very minor and can be accomplished in minutes with a file or dremel. The best part of this is that regular 9011/12 bulbs are relatively cheap when compared to high output bulbs. Of course this can be combined with the "Wiring harness",and the "Quad Mod", I would not recomend the "High into Low" as this would be an excessive amount of lumens for a housing that was not designed for it. This may be very blinding for other drivers.

"Silver Stars": These are supposed to be the best standard halogen technology upgrade light bulb you can get. It should be noted that the American bulbs have a slight blue coating and don't offer the increase in lighting that the European bulbs to (about 5% difference I believe), the European bulbs are perfectly clear. I believe that the increase in light from the American "Silver Stars" is about 15% (20% for the European bulbs). I have heard that these bulbs have a limited life span though. One thing that sould be noted about the silverstars is that if they meet the DOT requirements (aka street legal) for a 9005/6 bulb then they cannot put out more lumes than the DOT states, because the DOT requires as a minimum more lumens out of a 9011/12 than a 9005/6 can put at a maximum silverstars will never put out as much as a factory 9011/12 (and remain street legal). And of course these bulbs can be combined with the "wiring harness" and the "Quad Mod", I would not recomend the "High into Low" as this would be an excessive amount of lumens for a housing that was not designed for it. This may be very blinding for other drivers.

"HIR" (Halogen Infrared Reflective Technology): These are a new technology bulb that was developed by GE. They use a special coating on the inside of the bulb that reflects some of the heat developed back at the filament, this increases the temp of the filament and that causes it to give off more light. They are used in many factory high beams to complement HID low beam systems. They are supposed to offer quite a bit of increased lighting, I believe in excess of 40%, and do it without pulling any more power from the vehicle. They do this by a special coating on the inside of the bulb that reflects the heat back at the filament and this causes it to emit more "light". Currently there are only two providers of HIR bulbs and these are IPF and Toshiba, although the IPF bulbs may be too big to fit in a regular 9005/6 housing as it is a different design. They are relatively hard to find and can be quite expensive, I have seen them sold for $120 for a pair of bulbs, although I have seen true HIR bulbs on eBay for $30 a piece. Many bulbs may say HIR but unless it has the unique shape (bulbous) and is made by Toshiba it isn't a real HIR bulb (it may even say HIR right on the bulb). One thing to note here is that these are legal 9011/12 bulbs, in fact they were the first to have that designation, and as such they will not exceed the 9011/12 output as far as lumens are concerned. That said most 9011/12 bulbs that are not HIR will probably have an output in the lower range of what is allowed, true HIR's will probably have an output near the top of the allowable range, so it is up to you if the higher price is worth it when compared to a regular 9011/12 bulb that "might" have the same output (but probably not). If you would like more info as to why to only buy the Toshiba bulbs read here HIR Discussion (go to the 4th page). These bulbs are also supposed to have a longer life than a normal halogen bulb. And again these can be combined with the "wiring harness" and the "Quad Mod", but I would not recomend the "High into Low" for reasons stated before.
HIR Bulbs
Image
Some more great info on HIR bulbs: HIR Page

"HID": The next and final step, at this time, is true HID lighting. Many of you may think of the HID kits that can be purchased off eBay for a couple of hundred bucks, personally I do not recommend these kits. The standard halogen headlights were not designed to have HID bulbs inserted and 90% of the time will end up with horrible glare that will attract cops and horribly blind other drivers. Not to mention that the components use in almost every, if not every, one of these kits is not of high quality. Your best bet for HID lighting is to do what is called a "Retro", a retro is called that because it involves "retrofitting" factory components into your existing headlights. While a little involved it isn't a bad as it sounds. I would recommend doing a lot of research before going with HID's. A good place to do research is www.hidplanet.com in the forums section, they also sell components.

Here is an excelent article on why NOT to run HID "kits":Why not to get a HID "Kit"

And finally for us that are stuck with the old school sealed beam headlights

Sealed Beam Headlamps:

Well there really aren’t many choices to improve the lighting output of the older sealed beams, but there are some things you can do. The first thing I would recommend for sealed beam systems would be to get a set of Wagner "High Output" headlamps (might be the same as the Wagner "Bright Lights"). These have to be the best replacement sealed beams I have ever used. I currently run a H4 conversion headlight with 80/90 watt bulbs and the Wagner’s will kick these things rear. The part number is usually H####HO, an example is: First generation of S-10 used a 6054 bulb, in regular halogen it would be H6054 and in halogen high output it would be H6054HO.

Next you could try a conversion headlamp that converts from a sealed beam to a composite headlamp (type where you can just change the bulb). I have had mixed results with these, the seem to be more for looks than actual light output, but you can then put some high wattage bulbs in them which might improve your lighting.

"Quad Mod", yes you can do the "Quad Mod" to a sealed beam, BUT it does have some drawbacks. First off it will put out ALOT of heat so it is recommended that you put it on a switch so you can only turn it on at highway speeds instead of just having it come on when you turn the high beams on, otherwise you might melt the headlamp if you don't have a good amount of cooling airflow over the bulb. Second it might shorten the life of the bulb, possibly drastically. Finally you will probably wish to at least run a high quality dedicated ground as the bulb uses the same ground for both filaments it will be trying to support nearly twice the amperage than before.

And of course a wiring harness will work just as well on a sealed beam as it does on any other headlight system.

Disclaimer
All upgrades to lighting sould be done in moderation and properly. You could very well do a wiring harness, quad mod, and use 9011 bulbs in both the high and low beams. Now this would put alot of light on the road infront of you and it may seem that you have made driving safer, but you may have actually made it worse for your self. The issues is that you throw so much light on the road directly infront of you your eyes adjust to the light and this limits your distance vision. Also, using say the 9011 bulb as a low beam may put out excessive glare and this may blind other drivers, remember the actuall housings you are using were designed with a certain light output in mind.

I hope this may help some of you in your quest for better lighting.


:lol: Is this getting to be WAY more than you wanted to know about lighting :lol: I don't think so ... :crazy: :lol:

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Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:05 pm

The large globe and small base design of the HIR bulb poses a question.
How will this design hold up to the rigors of 4x4 life? Are they durable?

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Postby Snoman002 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:21 pm

someone try them
120 for 4 bulbs they better be bad A*S


Why buy 4? Considering the lumens rating for the 9005 (current high beam) is similar to the lumens rating for the 9012 (low beam) it would be more cost effective to switch just the highs over to the new bulb and swap your current highs into the low beam spot.

What exactly does the tip coating do?
The reflector and lense serve to direct the light. The high beam and low beam reflectors differ in the light patterns that they produce.
I wonder what the difference in pattern would be?


There should be no difference in pattern. From my understanding the 9005 is the exact same thing as the 9006 but it has a higher wattage filament and no tip coating. The tip coating on the 9006 is only there as a glare prevention technique. You may get some light in starnge places but considering the tip of the bulb is just closed off it will probably not be the same from truck to truck, heck from bulb to bulb.

The large globe and small base design of the HIR bulb poses a question.
How will this design hold up to the rigors of 4x4 life? Are they durable?


It should be fine I would imagine. It really isn't that much more glass so the wieght shouldn't be that much more.

Hope I can help with any more questions, I dont' calim to be an expert but I have run across some info in my quest to determine better lighting.
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:33 pm

Snoman002 wrote:....Hope I can help with any more questions, I dont' claim to be an expert but I have run across some info in my quest to determine better lighting.
Thank you :bow: and welcome :wave: I really do appreciate your taking the time to join in sharing the information here!
Your research on the lighting has been very good reading, and I do like your style. I only hope we can serve to repay the favor :mg:

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Postby jeff024 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:06 pm

I am currently running the 9005 High Beams in both the highs and lows the set of projection headlights I bought had a wire adaptor to make the hi work in the low slot which im running in my stock lense took the projectors out although they did produce more light then my stock lense I just couldnt get them adjusted to suit me.
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Postby HenryJ » Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:46 am

Well as you probably already know, I am going to give this a try.

I ordered the Toshiba 9011 HIR bulbs to replace the highbeams. I will then move the 9005 highs to the lowbeam position. If the reflectors can properly handle the the increased output and I want to be "legal" I can order the 9012 HIR bulbs for the lowbeams to make them even slightly brighter.

If this works $65 to upgrade both my highs and lows seems reasonable. that price doubles if I add the 9012 HIR lows later. I really don't see a need to do that since the light output of the 9005's is so close. How often are the low beam bulbs inspected? If the light output is less than the "legal" 9012's I really don't see an issue.

If someone REALLY wanted to "nit-pick" , yes the reflectors were probably not specifically designed for the 9011 or 9012 bulbs. Could this pose an issue? Perhaps. I will see.

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Postby Snoman002 » Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:33 am

HenryJ wrote:If someone REALLY wanted to "nit-pick" , yes the reflectors were probably not specifically designed for the 9011 or 9012 bulbs. Could this pose an issue? Perhaps. I will see.


If they wanted to they could. Because you have to modify the bulb to get it to fit in your headlights that makes it illegal. The problem is nobody decided to get the current 9005/6 housings DOT certified to use the 9011/12 bulbs, that means it is illegal to put the bulbs in there.

Would it be a problem? Probably not, it would take a very educated cop to figure out that you headlight was not designed to take the 9011/12 bulbs.
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Postby jeff024 » Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:49 pm

I wouldnt think of any cop that would have you take it apart to look they would most likely give you an inspection ticket and make you get them adjusted
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Postby F9K9 » Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:56 pm

jeff024 wrote:I wouldnt think of any cop that would have you take it apart to look they would most likely give you an inspection ticket and make you get them adjusted


Have you had experience in my former Buckeye state?
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Postby jeff024 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:15 am

nope
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Postby HenryJ » Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:05 pm

Bulbs arrived fast! Modded and installed already. I'll see how they do in the morning :mg:

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Postby jeff024 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:13 pm

from what I hear be careful and dont go to the Buckeye state HJ :)
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Postby HenryJ » Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:44 pm

They work really well. The light is a little whiter and a little brighter.
The low beams w/9005's just make the road more visible. No one has "brighted" me and the pattern in fog does not show any extra glare.

The highs and the HIR's are BRIGHT! These light up a reflective sign probably 1/4 mile further than the old high beams.

I really have nothing to compare them too since I have not tried anything else. They are probably 50-75% brighter than stock. I like the change. It just looks right.

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Postby Snoman002 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:37 pm

Glad to hear they are that much brighter. If I had the cash I would go and try the GM non-HIR 9011's, if that does happen it would be interesting to try and compare some how.

So the question that needs to be asked, was it worth the $60?

Also, if you eventualy plan on getting the 9012 HIR's for the low beams you might want to try tiping the 9005's with some VHT paint. If it ruins the bulbs so be it, but if it dosn't then you have the exact same output as the HIR's without having to spend any more money.
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:44 pm

I would say they give the amount of light that would be gained by installing a $60 set of offroad lights. So , yes I think it was worth the money if they last as long as reported.

I have no plans to install the 9012 HIR, since the 9005's work just fine in that position. No need to dip. No advantages that I can see from doing so.

Thanks for the information. I really like the change :thumb:

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Postby Snoman002 » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:06 pm

Any long term updates on these bulbs?
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:49 pm

:lol: a week is not exactly long term, but I'm never going back :evil:

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Postby Snoman002 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:18 am

Found some comparison shots, they are from an altima but it still shows the difference well.

Camera was placed in manual and the settings were locked for all three pictures.

Stock bulb:
Image

HIR bulb:
Image

For comparison, here is one of those cheap blue bulbs:
Image

Here are the bulbs:
Image
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Postby HenryJ » Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:18 pm

I can't say that the difference was quite that apparent. That is a pretty dramatic difference.
voltage must really play a part here.

Mine did not seem to be as yellow as the first photo. After adding the HIR bulbs the light was slightly whiter , but not as dramatic as the above photos. I will say the difference in visibility is about the same as this depiction though. If you look at the area around the concentrated beam you can see detail more clearly with the HIR bulbs. This would be the biggest difference that I see.

With the addition of the bigger alternator, my voltage rarely dips below 14 volts. Most of the time it runs between 14.2 and 14.6 volts. This does offer the maximum illumination for the bulbs. That may mean that those running the stock alternator may seem a bigger difference when they change. The HIR bulbs draw less and produce more. "win-win"

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Postby 04crewvt » Sun Dec 18, 2005 3:58 am

Ok, How about a short summary.
1) best stock replacement bulbs without consideration of cost.
2) best stock replacement bulbs on a budget.
3) best modified bulb without consideration of cost
4) best modified bulb on a budget
Why does the universe decree that if you have all the time in the world to work on projects you have no money and vice versa?
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Postby doughboy5499 » Mon Dec 26, 2005 2:51 pm

So putting the 9005's in the highs and lows would work? Same wattage / filament just projecting at a different angle right?
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Postby HenryJ » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:03 pm

doughboy5499 wrote:So putting the 9005's in the highs and lows would work? Same wattage / filament just projecting at a different angle right?
I would say it is possible.

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Postby jeff024 » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:49 am

HenryJ wrote:
doughboy5499 wrote:So putting the 9005's in the highs and lows would work? Same wattage / filament just projecting at a different angle right?
I would say it is possible.


I have them in my truck like that
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Postby Snoman002 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 5:06 pm

doughboy5499 wrote:So putting the 9005's in the highs and lows would work? Same wattage / filament just projecting at a different angle right?


It would/will/does work, but not that way.

Same angle and fillament location but different fillament and wattage (hence more lumens).
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Postby Snoman002 » Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:44 pm

Just found out those comparison shots were from an S-10, NOT an altima.

It was done in an aftermarket 98+ S-10 headlight.

Just and FYI.
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Postby 04crewvt » Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:32 pm

Well I replaced the high and low beams today with inexpensive xenon blue bulbs high beams 100w low beams 65w "off road only" to see if they are any better than the factory bulbs which I couldn't see @#@# with. Next I need to get some replacement bulbs for the fog lights. Haven't gone driving with them yet but they do seem noticeably more white than the factory bulbs.
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Postby jeff024 » Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:42 pm

you most likely wasted your money on blue bulbs they arent brighter
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Postby 04crewvt » Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:50 pm

Possibly but they do look a little better on the wall of my garage and if they are even a little better it will help, if they are not any better I can always switch them back. I know that the blue coating cuts down the light output I am not as concerned about how much brighter they are as wether I can see the road.
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Postby jeff024 » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:34 pm

I had them and thought it was darker when driving I went back to silverstars
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Postby 04crewvt » Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:49 am

Well with one night driving on them I do like them so far. They are certainly much less yellow and they seem to be able to define the road a little better. I am sure the silverstars would be better but for now I think these will do. At least I didn't get brighted by other drivers so they must not have increased glare to them which I was a little worried about. Had the fogs on pointing into the garage and you could definitly see how much yellower the light from them was compaired to the new headlight bulbs.
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Postby jeff024 » Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:58 am

did you do the Quad mod for the Highs yet? if not its a must
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Postby 04crewvt » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:07 am

Not yet, most of the driving I do is on the most travelled road in Vermont Route 7. It is a two lane road that has nearly 3000 cars pass by my house in any given day. I rarly have a chance to use the high beams on my way to or from work. Thats really why I had to upgrade the lights, needed to be able to see using the low beams almost all the time.
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Postby pulukeg » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:02 pm

The HIR seems to be a hot ticket. Can I go to the local chevy dealer and get them
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Postby HenryJ » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:15 pm

I doubt that you will get a true HIR bulb from the dealer.
...Currently there are only two providers of HIR bulbs and these are IPF and Toshiba, although the IPF bulbs may be too big to fit in a regular 9005/6 housing as it is a different design. They are relatively hard to find and can be quite expensive, I have seen them sold for $120 for a pair of bulbs, although I have seen true HIR bulbs on eBay for $30 a piece. Many bulbs may say HIR but unless it has the unique shape (bulbous) and is made by Toshiba it isn't a real HIR bulb (it may even say HIR right on the bulb). One thing to note here is that these are legal 9011/12 bulbs, in fact they were the first to have that designation, and as such they will not exceed the 9011/12 output as far as lumens are concerned. That said most 9011/12 bulbs that are not HIR will probably have an output in the lower range of what is allowed, true HIR's will probably have an output near the top of the allowable range, so it is up to you if the higher price is worth it when compared to a regular 9011/12 bulb that "might" have the same output (but probably not). If you would like more info as to why to only buy the Toshiba bulbs read here HIR Discussion (go to the 4th page).

The best bet that I have seen is the Toshiba HIR bulbs on ebay.

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Postby pulukeg » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:22 pm

I have thought of off road Hella's to put on the roof, But since I wont be using them all that often HIR replacements maybe the way to go, :D thanks
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Postby HenryJ » Sun Jun 24, 2007 4:40 am

Still going strong with the HIR. I think they were a very good choice.
Any updates on the GE Nighthawks or Silverstars?

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Postby killian96ss » Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:52 am

HenryJ wrote:Any updates on the GE Nighthawks or Silverstars?

I have the Silverstars in my 96 Impala SS (high/low integrated 1 bulb each side), 2005 ZR2 Blazer (high & low separate borrowed from my wrecked CC 2 bulbs each side), and my 1988 S10 Blazer (high/low integrated sealed beam capsule 1 each side).

The bulbs in my SS have about 7 years or roughly 30k miles of use, the bulbs in my ZR2 have about 5 years or 90k miles of use while the bulbs in my 88 S10 only have about 1 month or 1k miles of use.

Overall I have always been happy with the color and brightness of light that the Silverstars put out (much better than stock), and I have yet to have a bulb burn out. :D

There are better bulbs out there, but usually you have to upgrade the wiring harness (not a bad idea for even for stock wattage bulbs) and the bulbs themselves can get quite expensive.
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Postby F9K9 » Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:45 pm

killian96ss wrote:..........Overall I have always been happy with the color and brightness of light that the Silverstars put out (much better than stock), and I have yet to have a bulb burn out. :D .........
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Postby WVHogRider » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:02 am

I've been running the Silverstars in the low beams only for about two years now. I had one burnout just 2-3 months ago. I still like how much better they are over stock. :wink:
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Postby gocntry » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:54 am

I Have Had My Silverstars In Since November 15, 2004 And Haven't Had One Burnout Yet. Nice Upgrade Over Stock Lights :D
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Postby HenryJ » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:43 pm

F9K9 wrote:--Ended up buying the GE NIGHTHAWKS for the wife's (the Boss) Cavalier. Will let her be our guinea pic. Will bring you up to date on them later.
And how did these turn out?

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Postby F9K9 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:15 pm

HenryJ wrote:..........And how did these turn out?

Another "Win/Win" situation but, we're both looking for wipers to be teamed up with the Silver Stars and Night Hawks. No failures in either lights and many wiper refills tried :wink:
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:15 am

Skippii wrote:Incandescent bulbs used to be filled (emptied?) with a vacuum to prevent the filament from actually burning in oxygen.
Later, they used nobel gasses, from the far right side of the periodic table. Argon is the most popular choice by far, as it completely inert, and prevents any oxidation of the filament, making it last a very long time.
A while ago, they found that the opposite also works. By using Halogens, the most reactive gases under very high pressure, they were able to get the filament to actually redistribute itself, maintaining a uniform thickness, and thus not making any part of it prone to breaking.
The higher pressures also allowed the bulbs to be brighter, and whiter in colour, and run at much higher wattages. This led not only to improvements in lighting, but also to a huge trend where every homeowner bought lots of those Halogen 300-watt floor lamps.

Xenon is a nobel gas, using the old-school method of inertness, but at much higher pressures. The glass on these is generally dyed blue to give it the bright white light. They can be made to run at very high wattages, as well, and therefore can give out huge amounts of light. They generally don't last as long.

Xenon is also used in other kinds of illumination, such as the strobe light and HID driving lights. Don't get these confused. These work the same way as flourescent celing lights work: ionize the gas until it become conductive, and then run electricity through it to bump the outer electrons to a higher energy state. When they fall back down, they'll emit a photon. You don't need xenon to do this--it works just fine in air (lightening) and other gasses (Neon) as well, though the output (or colour) isn't practical for automotive lights.

I'll make it clear: Xenon, Argon (household), Iodine (halogen), and krypton (flashlight) incandescent bulbs are all the same basic thing, and completely interchangeable.

At least, that's what I remember from chemistry class.

Most xenons are dyed blue to look cooler--and to look like Xenon HID. It has nothing to do with the gas make-up, though.

Many companies (PIAA being one of the worst offenders) will print bogus specs on their bulbs. Stuff like "100W output" and "55w=100W"
What they're trying to say is that it's an ordinary bulb that produces almost twice the lumens (which is NOT a linear scale from wattage) as the cheapest Argon-filled budget bulbs you could get.
Stay clear of those....buy the bulbs that REALLY ARE 100 watts. They don't bother to state it, but they coudl state something like "200 watt output!" if they wanted to be like PIAA.

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Postby raven2510 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:51 pm

so on the HIR bulbs....are we saying that they are a good bulb to use in the high beam spot right??
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Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:50 pm

I think they are GREAT! :mg:

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Re: Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Postby fallvitals » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:33 pm

The Toshiba 9011/9012 HIRs have been discontinued!

But there is still some remaining stock out there. Lots of 9011s on ebay. And a few stores online have em, I just bought my first pair of 9011s... so if I like em im gonna order a spare set. Just updating this thread.
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Re: Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Postby F9K9 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:16 pm

There were a ton of complaints about Silverstars not lasting very long. This is five years later and mine are still running true. My wife's Blawk Hawks were still burning brightly when the car was totaled last year. I performed the DRL elimination mod before so, that may play a role in it. My wife's Cavalier had the DRLs running the whole time.

Having experienced HID lighting in my heep, I would research the possibility of fitting a pre '98 S-10 grille to my CC. IPF and others make a H4 rectangular headlight housing for around $35 each. There are plug-n-play kits floating around for $85. $175 and you are there but, you need to do some careful headlight adjustment to prevent a ton of high beams being flashed at you, blinding oncoming traffic and being responsible for causing a wreck. Mine, in the heep, are aimed very low and no one flashes them at me. The conversion wouldn't work in states with strict enforcement and inspections. With that being said, I can safely say that driving the CC on an unfamiliar curvy road with my Silverstars burning all four lamps seems like trying to drive with just our stock fog lamps when compared to HID lighting.
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Re: Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Postby fallvitals » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:32 am

I'm just not sold on hid. I know how good it is and what not... Can't argue that. But the dual beam silverstars I had in my old s10 sucked. I'll be happy if these hirs do what I read. In conjunction with my new piaa lights it shouldn't be a bad setup on those dark roads, but definantly not hids. Can't argue that.

I read somewhere that it says on sylvania's site silverstar 9005 are only suppose to get 50 hours and 9006, 200 hours.

Dads 07 silverado has some awesome lights though, his are h11 bulbs. Not hid, but if I could get my crew's lights as good as those I wouldn't worry another second about lights!
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Re: Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Postby fallvitals » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:26 am

So, I wish I knew about these HIRs last year. Or atleast Being able to swap the 9006 for 9005 bulbs MAJOR differance. I am definantly gonna get a spare set of the HIRs. They make a world of differance fro
stock, and with my PIAA dual beam auxiliary lights, it's a great set up. My piaas driving light doesn't throw as far as it says, Imho, but gives me more spill to the sides which is nice when it comes to spotting deer.
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Back to the top!

Postby _STUCKY » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:34 pm

Had a high out and figured I'd see what you guys are doing.

9005 ($9.26) napa replacements going in tonight
9011 ($42.74) ordered. Will be in tomorrow
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Re: Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Postby _STUCKY » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:58 am

So I've read this twice and skimmed it over at least 1 more time. I think it's safe to say I've got headlight overload...

Do the 9011s need modded to fit where the 9005 is?
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Re: Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Postby HenryJ » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:08 am

Yes and the GenIII bulbs are still available.
http://finemotoring.com/
http://shnu.us/HIR%20Trimming%20A.htm

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Thanks HenryJ! That was fast

Postby _STUCKY » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:37 am

I saw this: http://www.bmwe34.net/E34main/Upgrade/More_light.htm

My plan is to use the 9005 for the lows and the 9011 for the highs. They are both gonna need the same modifications to fit, right?

Edit: this will make much more sense once I have the bulbs in my hands
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Re: Thanks HenryJ! That was fast

Postby HenryJ » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:46 am

_STUCKY wrote:...this will make much more sense once I have the bulbs in my hands
Yes it will.
Each bulb has its own tab orientation and sizes. This is so that they do not interchange. Each reflector is designed for a specific bulb and has received the DOT approval for that combination.

I used nail clippers to trim mine.

The 9005 has the same light output as the 9012. I moved my high beam bulbs to the low reflectors and installed the 9011 highbeam HIR in the highbeams. Works great.

The next step is to upgrade your alternator, if you have not already. You need to make sure you are getting the best voltage possible.

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Re: Headlamp Replacement Bulbs.

Postby _STUCKY » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:14 am

Yeah I figured the alt would be coming up. That's a long read.
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